Overview of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease in which tissue of the pancreas forms malignant cells. The malignant growth of the pancreatic tissue is very difficult to diagnose. The people diagnosed in later stages of disease have a very high mortality rate in 5 years after diagnosis. It is asymptomatic in early stages and begins to show symptoms in the advanced stage of pancreatic cancer.

Every 0.5-2.4 men in 1,00,000 and 0.2-1.8 women in India are suffering from pancreatic cancer. It causes 200,000 deaths every year worldwide. The symptoms evolve are related to GIT (gastrointestinal) and systematic. Genetic involvement and family history associated with pancreatic cancer are under studies nowadays. Pancreas from endocrine and exocrine cells but in most of the cases exocrine cells undergo malignancy. Adenocarcinomas and neuroendocrine tumors are the two types of pancreatic cancer according to the cells involved.

Pancreatic cancer can be diagnosed early if the advanced screening tools are used in patients with positive family history. It increases the life expectancy if the pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in early stages.

Types of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Palliative therapy
  • Surgery


Chemotherapy uses drugs to limit the growth of cancer cells. It can be taken by mouth or by the injections that run in blood and kill any cancer cell found in the body. Combinations of drugs are usually used rather than only one drug.

Targeted Drug Therapy

These drugs attack the cancer cell environment in which they grow and kill them. Target drug therapies block the nutrition of cancer cells which ultimately leads to the death of cells.

Radiation Therapy

The radiations of x-rays are used to kill the cancer cells by any external or internal source. External radiation therapy involves a machine outside the body that throws a beam of x-rays on a tumor through the skin. But in internal radiation therapy or BRACHYTHERAPY, the radioactive material is placed at the tumor site.
Chemoradiation therapy also used to increase the effect of each other.
Palliative therapy:
When the cancer becomes widespread and is unable to be treated. Palliative care is used to control the symptoms experienced by the patient. It could be a surgery like biliary bypass or gastric bypass that opens the block ducts or it could be a medicine for the pain.


Some surgical procedures can be used:

Whipple procedure: in this, the bile duct, the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, a portion of the stomach, and the small intestine are all removed. Some cells are spared for the functioning in this procedure.

Total pancreatectomy: in this the entire pancreas, a portion of the stomach, a portion of the small intestine, the common bile duct, the gallbladder, the spleen, and adjacent lymph nodes are removed

Distal pancreatectomy: it is a surgery to remove both the pancreas' body and tail. If cancer has gone to the spleen, then it may also need to be removed.

Cost of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in India

In India, the cost of pancreatic cancer therapy ranges from 6350 USD to 8890 USD. In comparison to the most developed countries in the world, the cost of pancreatic cancer therapy is low. The cost of cancer therapy can be expensive but cancer treatment in India is quite affordable.

Different procedures and their costs in India:

Treatment Costs in India Min in USD Max in USD
Chemotherapy 266 USD 1088.68 USD
Whipple Procedure 6373 USD 7499 USD
Distal Pancreatectomy 3628 USD 4838 USD
Total Pancreatectomy 4487 USD 5080 USD
Radiation Therapy 2685 USD 4233.75 USD


Symptoms & Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Some Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

  • Jaundice (a skin and eye white turns yellow in color).
  • stool in a light color.
  • Dark color urine.
  • back pain
  • abdominal pain.
  • Loss of weight for unknown reasons.
  • decrease in appetite.
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin rash
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Abnormal blood clots
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Constipation/ diarrhea.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer

Physical Examination and Medical History

An examination of the body to check for general health, including looking for signs of the disease or anything else that is not normal. A history of the patient's health, past medical illness, and treatments can give the idea of a patient under the risk of developing cancer.

CBC (complete blood count)

A method in which a blood sample is tested to determine the levels of secretions of pancreas such as bilirubin. An abnormally high or low concentration of a substance can be problematic.

Tumor Markers

When present in large quantities in the body, some chemicals are associated with particular forms of cancer. They are known as tumor markers. And they indicate the presence of disease in person.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI creates a sequence of images of the inside body regions using a magnet waves, and a computer. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) is another name for this process.

CT scan (CAT scan)

A process that creates a number of detailed pictures of inside body regions from multiple angles. A computer connected to an x-ray equipment makes the procedure possible.


A biopsy is the removal of cells or tissues so that a medical professional can examine under a microscope for malignancy. During an ultrasound or x-ray, a core needle or fine needle may be put in into the pancreas to remove cells.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

An endoscope is inserted into the body usually through the mouth or rectum. An endoscope is a tiny, tube-shaped device containing a light and lens. High-energy sound waves are used to create echoes of organs with a probe at the end of the endoscope. A sonogram which is a picture of the body tissue is formed and gives the idea of presence of any mass if present.


A surgical procedure to look at the organs inside the abdomen to check for signs of any abnormal mass present.

Top Hospitals for Pancreatic Cancer in India

Shaping the future of the healthcare institution and establishing the path to accomplishment.

Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali Ghaziabad,India

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Burjeel Medical Hospital City Abu Dhabi,UAE

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Gleneagles Global Health City Perumbakkam , Chennai,India

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Manipal Hospital, Mysore Bengaluru,India

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Manipal Hospital, Pune Pune,India

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Jaypee Hospitals, Noida, Uttar Pradesh India

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Metro Hospital Faridabad,India,

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Indraprastha Apollo Hospital New Delhi

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Metro Hospital Faridabad,India,

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Top Doctors for Pancreatic Cancer in India

Empower your Health with the Expertise of Leading Medical Professionals.

Dr. Surender Kumar Dabas

Department of Surgical Oncology & Oncology

Senior Director

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Dr. Amit Agarwal

Department of Medical Oncology

Senior Director

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Dr. Ashwani Sharma

Department of Surgical Oncology

Associate Director Surgical Oncology

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Dr. J. C. Vij

Department of Gastroenterology


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Dr. Bikram Kumar Deka

Department of Surgical Oncology

Associate Consultant Surgical Oncology

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Treatment Costs for Pancreatic Cancer

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FAQ's of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Jaundice, stomach and back pain, sudden weight loss, and diabetes can be signs of pancreatic cancer.

The average survival with untreated pancreatic cancer is three and half months.

Advanced pancreatic cancer is quite hard to treat, however, if the cancer is caught at an early stage, there are some chances of recovery.

Research shows that pancreatic cancer can progress to stage 4 from stage 1 within the period of a year.